Assets of Community Value

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6. For owners

Who is an owner?

Under the Localism Act, the "owner" means the freehold owner, unless there are one or more leasehold interests in the land whose original term was at least 25 years. In that case the owner will be the person holding the leasehold estate; if more than one leasehold estate exists, it will be the one most distant from the freehold in terms of the number of intervening leaseholds.

Owning a listed asset

If a building or other land that you own is added to the list of assets of community value, the fact of listing may be a material consideration if you apply for planning permission affecting the asset. Apart from this, nothing will happen until you want to dispose of one of the following interests in it:-

  • the freehold interest, with vacant possession;
  • a leasehold interest with vacant possession, whether by grant or assignment of a lease, where the original term is or was at least 25 years.

In the above cases you must notify the Council that you wish to dispose of the land:-

  • by email to transport.projects@exeter.gov.uk; or
  • by post to the Principal Project Manager (Infrastructure Management & Delivery), City Development, Exeter City Council, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1NN.

The Council will then notify the group which originally nominated it for inclusion on the list, as well as publicising within its area the fact that it has received notice of the intended disposal of a listed asset. This triggers the various moratorium periods.

There are certain exceptions, for example:-

  • a gift of the asset;
  • transmission of the asset under the terms of a will or intestacy; or to raise money to satisfy other entitlement under the will or intestacy, or to pay the deceased person's debts, taxes, or costs of administering the estate;
  • transfer between family members, defined for these purposes as spouses or civil partners, or persons descended from the same grandparents (including relationships by marriage);
  • a disposal with other land;
  • a person joining or leaving a partnership;
  • under the terms of a trust.

You are explicitly allowed to dispose of the land to a community interest group.

There are various other exceptions in Schedule 3 to the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012. Note however that even if a transfer falls within one of the exceptions, the new owner has to notify the Council that the transfer has taken place, giving their name and address. An owner must also notify the Council if he or she applies for first registration of unregistered land that is on the Council's list.

Note that disposal of listed land in breach of the procedures will be ineffective, unless you have made all reasonable efforts to find out if the land is listed, and are unaware of it at the time of disposal.

Unhappy with the Council's decision?

There are two situations in which an owner can ask for a review of the Council's decision:-

  • a "listing review", that is a review of the decision to include an asset on the list;
  • a "compensation review", that is a review of a decision not to pay compensation, or the amount of compensation.

In either case there is a time limit of eight weeks following the date the Council gave written notice of its decision. The Council has discretion to allow a longer period.

Reviews have to be carried out by a senior officer who did not take any part in the original decision, and this will be the Corporate Manager Policy/Communications/Community Engagement.

A request for a review should be sent:-

in either case  marking it clearly for the attention of the Corporate Manager Policy/Communications/Community Engagement.

If the owner has appointed any legal or other representative to act on his or her behalf in connection with the review, the Council should be informed of this, whereupon the Council will correspond with the representative and is not obliged to supply copies of documents to the owner.

The Council will supply details of the procedure for conducting the review, which must be completed within eight weeks following receipt of the request, unless the owner agrees to a longer period. An oral hearing will be held if the owner or the Council requires one, otherwise the review will be conducted in writing. In either case, both the owner and his or her representative may make representations to the reviewer.

The owner will be notified of the decision on review, together with reasons.

There is a further right of review in either case to a First-tier Tribunal, which must be applied for within 28 days from the date when the Council's decision was sent to the owner. The property will remain listed during the appeal process.

Compensation

An owner may be entitled to claim compensation for loss or expense incurred as a result of the listing. A claim must be made in writing to the Council by the end of thirteen weeks after the loss or expense was incurred, or finished being incurred. The owner should state the amount of compensation sought, and include supporting evidence.

Claims should be sent:-

  • by email to transport.projects@exeter.gov.uk; or
  • by post to the Principal Project Manager (Infrastructure Management & Delivery), City Development, Exeter City Council, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1NN.

The Council will consider the claim and give written reasons for its decision.